Clergy sex abuse is an especially disturbing and devastating crime, with serious long-term mental, emotional, and physical impacts on victims. Many victims of childhood sexual abuse often remain silent for fear of judgment and social stigma.
However, more and more survivors are beginning to take a stand. You can take back your dignity and fight for justice. The Rochester Hills clergy sex abuse lawyers of White Law PLLC can help. We understand how sensitive and delicate these cases are.
We have helped countless survivors obtain justice and provide compassionate support throughout the process. All survivors should know that help is available when they are ready to take legal action, make a stand, and reclaim their life.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for Clergy Sex Abuse?
In any case of sexual abuse, multiple parties could have liability. The abuser is generally the first to be named in a civil lawsuit. However, in cases of clergy sexual abuse, religious organizations can often be held liable as well for their complicity in covering up the crime.
These consistent and long-running cover-up operations have eaten away at victims’ trust in religious institutions and caused many states to change liability laws accordingly.
If church leadership is aware of abuse, does nothing about it, or tries to sweep it under the rug, they can be held legally responsible. Survivors of clergy sexual abuse should consult with a clergy sex abuse lawyer in Rochester Hills, MI, immediately in order to seek justice and accountability while they still can.
Your Fight Is Our Fight
Statute of Limitations for Clergy Sexual Abuse in Michigan
A plaintiff has three years in Michigan from the date of the harm to bring a claim for damages. Yet, it is encouraging that recent legislation in Michigan has addressed claims of clergy sexual abuse. A specific timeframe for filing criminal charges for child sexual assault in Michigan is set down in MCL 600.5851b.
The plaintiff may now file a case at any time up until the age of 28 for abuse that occurred when the plaintiff was a juvenile. If not, people have three years to submit a claim from the time they learn about the abuse or can connect an injury to church child sex abuse.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that these laws are fluid and very complex, so even if the abuse occurred more than three years ago or if you are older than 28, it is still possible that a clergy sex abuse attorney in Rochester Hills, MI, can still help.
We’re not just lawyers. We’re passionate advocates who will ensure that your voice is heard and your rights are protected.
Will a Clergy Member Go to Jail for Sexual Abuse of a Minor?
In some instances, this can be the case. However, two types of claims can be filed if you were sexually abused by clergy: criminal and civil. The difference between a criminal case and a civil lawsuit is the consequences for the defendant if they are found guilty.
In a criminal case, they can face jail time and probation, whereas in a civil claim, even if they are found guilty, they will not face any of those penalties. Instead, the court may order them to pay reparation to the victim.
The second difference between these two cases is the type of compensation owed should the defendant be found accountable. In criminal cases, there is no financial compensation for the victim. However, in civil lawsuits, a jury chooses an award amount that compensates for any harm caused by the abuser’s actions.
We understand that you may be going through a difficult situation and we are ready to help however we can.
Can There Be Both a Civil and Criminal Lawsuit for Clergy Sexual Abuse?
Yes, some accusations may lead to both civil and criminal proceedings against an individual. Our firm handles civil matters. We can help you pursue a civil case that can hold the liable parties financially accountable for your damages.
These awards may include restitution or punitive damages from the defendant to cover medical expenses or emotional damages caused by their actions.
You will always work directly with your attorney throughout your case.
Why Do I Need Legal Counsel if I’m Filing a Civil Complaint for Clergy Sexual Abuse?
Being a victim of sexual abuse by a priest can be an incredibly traumatic ordeal, and seeking legal help is crucial. We understand how local legislation affects your situation and identify any potential loopholes in order to fight for maximum compensation or retribution against those responsible.
An experienced attorney is a must in such cases due to their knowledge of relevant laws, as well as their understanding of the complexities around clergy sexual abuse cases – both emotionally and procedurally.
An attorney focusing on priest sexual abuse cases can provide insight into potential outcomes, ensuring that victims make informed decisions about what kind of justice they wish to pursue.
Sensitive, Compassionate Legal Help for Clergy Abuse Survivors
Having an attorney knowledgeable in civil cases related to priest sexual abuse can also play an important role in the healing process for survivors. It’s not always easy for victims to trust others with their stories, especially when powerful figures such as the clergy are involved.
Having someone work on your behalf is reassuring and can give survivors confidence that measures are being taken toward fighting against such abhorrent crimes. Having a competent lawyer prepare your case will create a powerful legal argument that can prove instrumental if you choose to take it to court.
Learn More About Pursuing Justice By Contacting a Clergy Sex Abuse Law Firm in Rochester Hills
For more than two decades, White Law PLLC has been fighting for and supporting victims of child sexual abuse in Michigan. Dedicated to protecting their clients and securing the justice they deserve, the team is composed of trusted experts who are smart, tough, and relentless in their pursuit of justice.
The team’s dedication to those affected by clergy abuse and their unwavering commitment to the law sets them apart from other legal professionals. We understand that the journey towards healing and justice can be long and difficult – but far from impossible.
Our lead attorney has secured justice and significant compensation on behalf of hundreds of victims in high-profile clergy sex abuse cases, and we are proud to continue to stand beside all courageous survivors. Contact us today for a confidential consultation at no cost to you. We may be able to help.
We’re Experienced. We Care.
We Exceed Client Expectations.